Jakarta’s budget focuses on education, flood mitigation

After countless delays, the Jakarta administration has finally approved its 2015 budget at Rp 73.08 trillion (US$5.8 billion), only about Rp 200 billion higher than the 2014 budget of Rp 72.9 trillion.

In the 2015 budget year, the city expects Rp 63.8 trillion in income and Rp 67.4 trillion in spending. The numbers will be rounded up to Rp 73.08 with several funding sources including, the central government.

Details on the 2015 budget are not yet available for public access. However, Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama revealed that the Education Agency would receive the highest allocation, which he said was up to 27 percent of the total budget, or about Rp 19.7 trillion.

“Similar to previous years, our priority this year includes education. This year, we will begin to give educational support to private school students through KJP [Jakarta Smart Card]. We also plan to renovate many schools that have facilities that are no longer considered decent for students,” Ahok told reporters after the plenary session to approve the budget in the City Council building in Central Jakarta on Tuesday.

Last year, the city’s budget for the Education Agency totaled up to Rp 13 trillion.

Ahok also said that the city would prioritize flood mitigation, health and land acquisition projects for various plans such as plans for open green areas, reservoir development, riverbank normalization, toll roads and many other projects.

Projects for two spin-off agencies from the former Public Works Agency, the Water Management Agency and the Bina Marga (Roads) Agency, would receive a total of Rp 6 trillion, according to Water Management Agency head Agus Priyono.

Moreover, Parks and Cemetery Agency head Nandar Sunandar said that funding for projects in his agency in 2015 totaled up to Rp 1.3 trillion. The allocation, he said, included the development of open green areas.

Council deputy speaker Mohamad Taufik said the budget allocation for the Health Agency would account for up to 9 percent of the total budget, or about Rp 65.7 billion.

“The city administration will continue its plan to upgrade district Puskesmas [community health centers] into type D hospitals. We hope that the city administration would also simultaneously procure equipment for the hospitals so they would be operational right after the upgrade,” Taufik told reporters after the plenary session.

Previously, the city administration had set the budget priority at Rp 76.8 trillion. However, Taufik said that some adjustments were made, thus, the budget was lower than planned.

For example, Taufik said, many capital injections were slashed from the budget allocation.

  • slashed – to reduce an amount by a lot, to cut someone or something with a sharp blade in a quick, swinging action

This year the city administration would only give capital injections to three city-owned firms: bus operator PT Transportasi Jakarta (Transjakarta) will receive Rp 500 billion, MRT project consortium PT MRT Jakarta will receive Rp 4.6 trillion and lender Bank DKI will receive Rp 500 billion. The capital injection totals to Rp 5.6 trillion.

Jakarta’s Culture and Tourism Agency also had its budget pared down significantly from the proposed Rp 1.1 trillion to Rp 695 billion.

  • pare something down – to reduce something to a level at which only what is absolutely necessary is left

Taufik said that in the 2015 budget year, the city administration should attempt to complete unfinished business for land acquisition. The city has many ongoing projects that require land acquisition, including the MRT construction and the BMW stadium.

He also highlighted the importance of developing transportation to, from and within the Thousand Islands Regency if the city planned to transform the area into a flourishing tourist destination.

Ahok has vowed to improve budget absorption this year after historically poor spending last year. In 2014, Jakarta spent only 59 percent of the total target.

  • vow – to make a firm promise or decision to do something

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/28/jakarta-s-budget-focuses-education-flood-mitigation.html#sthash.rAPr1C4B.dpuf

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